Studies were conducted to explore altered substrate utilization and metabolism in GLUT4 null mice. Liver fatty acid synthase mRNA and fatty acid synthesis rates were dramatically increased in GLUT4 null mice compared with control mice and were supported by increased rates of the pentose phosphate pathway oxidative phase and sterol regulatory binding protein mRNA expression. Increased GLUT2 protein content, glucokinase mRNA, and glucose-6-phosphate in GLUT4 null mice may provide substrate for the enhanced fatty acid synthesis. Increased fatty acid synthesis, however, did not lead to hepatic triglyceride accumulation in GLUT4 null mice because of increased hepatic triglyceride secretion rates. GLUT4 null mice rapidly cleared orally administered olive oil, had reduced serum triglyceride concentrations in the fed and the fasted state, and increased skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase when compared with controls. Oleate oxidation rates were increased in GLUT4 null skeletal muscle in association with mitochondrial hyperplasia/hypertrophy. This study demonstrated that GLUT4 null mice had increased hepatic glucose uptake and conversion into triglyceride for subsequent use by muscle. The ability of GLUT4 null mice to alter hepatic carbohydrate and lipid metabolism to provide proper nutrients for peripheral tissues may explain (in part) their ability to resist diabetes when fed a normal diet.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism